Brighton-born Shona and partner Brian, turned their backs on the bright lights of London and headed for the Sussex seaside for their big day in July 2012.
We caught up with them nearly a year later to chat about their sleek celebrations, cosmopolitan cocktails and that dress…
Hi Shona! Hi Brian! So, before we talk about your big day, tell us how you got together?
We started going out at a party on New Year’s Eve 2007/2008 as our mutual friends went into match making overdrive for us to get together, and then all stared and watched as we did! Brian then proposed four years later on New Year’s Eve 2011/2012.
After trying on too many to mention, I had my dress custom made from Bridal Caprice, in London. I loved the corset top detail, sweetheart neckline and pale ivory colour, it was perfect. And so I’m told; very swan like! I opted for very natural looking makeup and a gorgeous Grecian style up do held with a vintage style diamond hair piece. Under the veil this couldn’t be seen, but when I took the veil off in the evening it felt like a different hair do!
That’s a great idea! Silly question, but what attracted you to getting married at The Grand?
As Shona grew up in Brighton, we knew we would get married here. The sea view was very important to us and we loved the feel of the hotel when walking in the entrance – it had a real sense of occasion. We also felt the room size was just right for our numbers – not too big or small. It’s also an iconic venue – everyone knows The Grand! You’re right, they do! So, how did you find your wedding inspiration? We found lots of inspiration flicking through magazines and websites, looking at other people’s weddings and going to wedding fairs. And tell us about your theme… There wasn’t really a clear cut theme, it was more inspired through the use of our favourite colours (navy and ivory) whilst keeping the look elegant. We tried to add personal touches throughout the day too.
You had so many lovely unique touches! Tell us about your favourites… We handpicked our favourite songs to be sung acoustically during the ceremony and drinks reception, I walked down the aisle to Kissing You (by Desree). Instead of just providing Champagne we selected one of Shona’s favourite cocktails (Cosmopolitans) to be served. We hired a magician to entertain guests with close up magic tricks during the drinks reception as Brian loves magic. Shona’s favourite scent is lavender, so stems of lavender were placed on each napkin and crushed so the smell was really evident when sitting down for dinner. Our place cards were hand drawn caricatures of each guest with a personalised hand written note inside. The table names were named based on cities around the world we have visited together over the years, on each table was a miniature photo album made up of pictures of us from that location. The favours were mini bags of our favourite retro sweets (such as popping candy, drumstick lollies, candy necklaces, etc) from when we were young, that we put together by hand. We put together a basket of toiletries for both the male and female toilets, which included things such as chewing gum, plasters, hairbrush, perfume, deodorant, hair clips, etc and we provided a basket of flip-flops near the dance floor for guests to use. The guest book was a fold out panoramic pencil sketch of the London skyline visible from our flat.
We love all of your personal touches, it sounds as if you really enjoyed your day. What did you enjoy most about planning your wedding?
Going round and looking at all the lovely venues and trying on so many dresses!
And your least favourite part of wedding planning?
Keeping an eye on the budget. Oh, and trying on so many dresses and thinking I would never find one I liked!
Any wedding day goss you’d like to tell us about?
At the evening reception the back of Brian’s suit trousers got ripped when his friends were throwing him in the air and he had to swap trousers with another guest so that I wouldn’t find out…
Oh-oh! You’d never tell. So, which part of your wedding day did you find most emotional, can you describe it?
Music was really important to your big day, wasn’t it? Your first dance sounds brilliant!
It was! We learnt choreographed moves to Florence and the Machine’s You’ve Got The Love, it was fun.
Sounds like you would have needed a rest afterwards! Where did you choose to honeymoon?
We travelled around USA – Flew to Las Vegas, followed by LA, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, and Miami, we had a great time!
Wedding photographer: Erika from PhotoMadly
Wedding venue: The Grand, Brighton
Bride’s dress and accessories: Bridal Caprice, London
Bride’s shoes: Dune
Bride’s hair and makeup: Bridal Beauty Team
Bridesmaids dresses: French Connection
Groom’s suit: Moss Bespoke
Groom’s accessories: Moss Hire
Groomsmen’s outfits: Next
Rings: John Lawrence
Cake: Pink Rose Cakes, Brighton
Flowers: Blooms for Business, Brighton
Entertainment: Funky Buddha Band
Wedding favours: www.aquarterof.co.uk
Well, what a gorgeously grand wedding? It’s always lovely to see a Sussex-born bride returning home to get married, by the sea.
We loved the couple’s classy colour scheme of navy and ivory, working fabulously with their chosen venue and of course how can we fail to mention how sweet all of their personal touches were? Top marks go for toiletry top ups and flip flops allowing guests to party right into the early hours…!
Huge thanks as always go to the wonderful Erika from PhotoMadly for allowing us to share these beautiful pictures with you and also to Shona and Brian for chatting to us about their elegant big day.